Lu Yin revealed a small smile and stopped aggravating the man. "Director Zhi, do you remember the design for the new universal armor that I shared with you? I want you to add microarray technology to it."
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In an instant, Director Zhi's attention was completely diverted. "You want to integrate microarray technology into something else?"
Lu Yin grew serious. "I want that armor design to include both Smoke-Eater Peaks’ smoke and microarray technology. I’m going to build an invincible army."
"You started planning this five years ago, didn’t you?" Director Zhi blurted.
Lu Yin casually replied, "Don’t worry about that. All you need to focus on is making eighty microarrays for me that can be added to the sets of universal armor that I’ve already ordered. What’s the most powerful attack that you can add to the arrays?"
Director Zhi considered the question for a while. "Given our current materials, we can have each array release four full powered attacks that each have a maximum output of a power level of 200,000, but it won’t be cheap."
Lu Yin said, "Then lower the strength of the attacks."
Director Zhi was momentarily stunned by this response, as he had expected that Lu Yin would want to store the most powerful attacks possible. Why would anyone want a weak attack in the universal armors?
"What’s the point in including Hunter-level attacks?" Elder Jiu Shen was similarly puzzled.
"It's cheaper," Lu Yin replied.
Director Zhi was stunned. Cheaper? Then it would be better to just have the soldiers attack with their own strength! What was the point in using microarray technology then?
Naturally, Lu Yin could not tell either of the men that he could use his die to Enhance the microarrays and universal armors to improve their overall strength.
He had already tried Enhancing the Void Rip sourcebox array that he had taken from Bai Shaohong, but the presence of the sourcebox array made that endeavor impossible. However, as long as the sourcebox array was not added on by Master Xuan, Lu Yin would be able to Enhance the universal armors and the base mechanism of the microarrays.
It would be best to first upgrade the materials and the bases for the microarrays until they could handle the strength of Enlighters or even stronger powerhouses, such as two-tribulation Envoys before then adding the sourcebox arrays as the final step.
"How powerful of an attack can Master Xuan’s sourcebox arrays hold if we don’t take the strength of the necessary materials into account?" Lu Yin looked at Director Zhi with eyes filled with hope.
Director Zhi answered, "An Enlighter’s attack. A power level of about 200,000."
Lu Yin was disappointed. That power level was too weak, which meant that there was no reason for him to Enhance the microarray bases. Regardless of how much he improved the base materials, the sourcebox arrays would be too weak to take advantage of the improved durability. On top of that, the cost to Enhance the base materials would most likely be the same as or more expensive than outright paying Aurora Enterprises to manufacture the more powerful microarrays from the start. Just having Aurora Enterprises do all the work would actually be the better option, as these sourcebox arrays were actually the weak point of the entire design.
Lu Yin felt that it was a pity that Master Xuan had not yet had the chance to study the Void Rip sourcebox array. His skills would probably dramatically improve if he was able to study the sourcebox array.
It did not really matter if Lu Yin studied the sourcebox array. Thus, it would be better to give it to Master Xuan.
After thinking of such, Lu Yin pulled out the Void Rip sourcebox array from his cosmic ring. This was the one that he had picked up from the treasury in the Celestial Frost Sect’s ruins. This sourcebox array still had a single attack left. "Give this to Master Xuan for me. This sourcebox array is able to handle attacks equal to a two-tribulation Envoy, which is pretty scary."
Director Zhi's pupils shrank to pinpricks, and he snatched the sourcebox array out of Lu Yin's hand. "Was this what gave Wan Gong the opportunity to make a breakthrough in our research?"
Lu Yin neither admitted nor denied anything. "Go ahead and have the microarrays be built to hold the most powerful attacks that you’re capable of storing. I hope that by studying that sourcebox array, Master Xuan will be able to find a way to store more powerful attacks so that we can use the microarray technology even more effectively against the Aeternals. Oh, and there’s also this."
As Lu Yin finished speaking, he handed Dong Zhi all of the Mother Tree’s bark that he still had on him.
Elder Jiu Shen was taken aback. "This is-?"
Director Zhi grew increasingly excited. "Is this the material that was successful?"
Lu Yin nodded. "This should be enough for you to make a few hundred microarrays. I only need 80 of them, and I won’t ask you to return the leftover material, so you can keep it for further research."
"It feels like bark," Director Zhi commented as he took it. He felt a little confused.
Elder Jiu Shen stared at Lu Yin for a long moment. "It's nearly impossible to find this material even if you scoured the entire Fifth Mainland."
Director Zhi was caught off guard. "Senior, you recognize this substance?"
Elder Jiu Shen was second only to Elder Gong in the Cosmic Sect, so it was no surprise that he had recognized the Mother Tree’s bark.
Lu Yin replied, "I’ll find a way to get more. It’s not completely impossible."
Elder Jiu Shen shook his head. "That’s going to be very difficult."
"Alliance Leader Lu, what is this material? Where does it come from? My Aurora Enterprises has spread across the entire universe, so we should be able to find more of it," Director Zhi said.
Lu Yin smiled wryly. He was just about to answer when he suddenly remembered something. He quickly took out a stack of white paper. "Director Zhi, these papers are made from the same material as the bark that you were given before. See if you can use this as well."
Director Zhi felt completely lost. How could someone use the bark if it had already been processed into paper?
"Try it. It might work out," Lu Yin suggested. He still had a lot of paper left, and there was likely even more on Zenith Mountain on Long Xi and the others. If the paper could be used for the microarray technology, it would be wonderful.
Director Zhi had no choice but to deliver the white paper to Wan Gong.
After Director Zhi left, Elder Jiu Shen commented, "I never imagined that the most crucial material for this project would actually be the Mother Tree’s bark. You brought that back from that place?"
"I actually picked it up from the Celestial Frost Sect’s ruins." Lu Yin did not bother hiding anything.
Elder Jiu Shen commented, "If you were able to pick that up from those ruins, then it might not be the only place in the Fifth Mainland where it can be found. We should keep looking for more bark."
"That’s not very likely," Lu Yin said.
The two continued to wait for the test results where they were.
After a long time, Lu Yin could no longer bear the silence. It had become rather awkward after the two sat there for so long without saying a single word, so Lu Yin broke the silence. "Elder, is the relationship between the Cosmic Sect and Eversky Island really so close that they even share such intimate secrets?"
Elder Jiu Shen replied, "Eversky Island’s disciples are able to participate in the challenges to become true disciples of my Cosmic Sect. You tell me if we’re close or not."
"That's true. Also, the Cosmic Sect disciples are allowed to cross the Eversky Bridge on Eversky Island," Lu Yin recalled.
Suddenly he thought of something else. “Elder, what do we know about Progenitor Smog?"
Elder Jiu Shen was caught off guard. "Progenitor Smog? You mean Progenitor Smoke, don’t you?"
"Long ago, Progenitor Smog controlled one of the Nine Mountains and Eight Seas," Lu Yin replied. This was what he had heard from Xin Nü.
"Progenitor Smog, Progenitor Smoke—both names are used. Some people called him Progenitor Smoke, while others called him Progenitor Smog," Elder Jiu Shen said.
"The smoke on Eversky Bridge should have come from Progenitor Smog."
Elder Jiu Shen said, "That’s true, but I don't know much about Progenitor Smoke. All I know is that the Progenitor had a habit of making all different kinds of smoke, many of which had miraculous effects. However, no one has any idea why. Only some traces of Progenitor Smoke’s power have been found in lucky chances, as Progenitor Smoke had no descendants."
Lu Yin found this to be quite a pity. After all, for Progenitor Smog to have been able to control one of the Nine Mountains and Eight Seas, the Progenitor had definitely been exceptional even among Progenitors.
"Elder, do you know what sort of power each of Progenitor Chen's nine clones cultivated?" Lu Yin asked again.
Elder Jiu Shen shook his head. "I don't."
"You must already know that the Nine Mountains and Eight Seas really do have Progenitors’ inheritances."
Elder Jiu Shen was stunned. "Truly?"
Lu Yin was shocked. "You really didn’t know, Senior?"
Elder Jiu Shen rolled his eyes. "How would I know about that?"
"Do you know who’s the strongest expert within Aeternus?"
"I have no idea."
"Have you heard of the Origin Progenitor?"
"You actually believe in a myth like that?"
"There’s nothing known about that."
"Do you know-"
Lu Yin wanted to ask more questions, but Elder Jiu Shen lost his patience and snapped, "Alright, alright! You know more than me! Quit it with the questions! Let's go!"
The man then left in a huff.
Lu Yin was completely speechless. So impatient! How had the man managed to cultivate to his current level? Yuan Shi’s comment about Jiu Shen had been quite accurate. One could not judge the man by his cultivation realm, as he was quite touchy and sensitive. All that he had to show for was his cultivation realm at the moment.
A short time later, Director Zhi finally returned to Lu Yin. The man was clearly excited. "Alliance Leader Lu, you were right!"
Lu Yin was thrilled. "It works?"
Director Zhi gave a heavy nod. "It works, but it’s expensive."
"What do you mean?" Lu Yin quickly asked.
Director Zhi explained, "It takes five sheets of the white paper to replace a single piece of bark in the manufacturing process."
"Five sheets?" Lu Yin was surprised. Since these pieces of paper could be used to form many different objects that were usually used for flying, such as birds, other animals, and even spaceships, each piece was massive. They completely outsized a piece of bark, but it still took five sheets of paper to replace a tiny piece of bark.
"It’s the only way. While the paper is made from the bark, it’s impossible to reverse the process. All we can do is extract the needed compound and bind it to other materials to form a new substance. It’s no longer bark, but it can still hold a microarray. It takes about five sheets of paper to extract the necessary amount of the needed substance to hold a single microarray," Director Zhi explained. He was hoping to get more from Lu Yin. "Alliance Leader Lu, how much of this white paper do you have?"
Lu Yin checked his stores. "A bit more than two hundred sheets."
"Where did you get it?"
"I found it."
Director Zhi choked. He really did not know how to respond to such an answer, but he knew that it would be impossible to force Lu Yin to reveal how he had acquired the pieces of paper.
Not to mention the white paper, Director Zhi desperately wanted to know where the bark came from as well, but no one would answer him.
Lu Yin ran some numbers. "130."
Director Zhi was confused by the number. "What?"
Lu Yin turned to face Director Zhi. "I’ll give you all of the bark and paper I have, and you’ll provide me with 130 microarrays, all of which will be incorporated into the new universal armors."
Director Zhi frowned. "Are you trying to get Aurora Enterprises to work for you?"
"The leftover bark and paper are payment for your services. Without me, you would have never been able to achieve that breakthrough and develop the microarray technology, and even if you had pulled that off without me, you don’t have the necessary materials you need to actually produce anything. Basically, your years of effort would have all been for nothing without me. I’m providing you with my own technology and materials for you to use to produce a product. The remaining materials are a reasonable payment for your work," Lu Yin said.
Director Zhi hesitated. While this all sounded quite reasonable, it still meant that Aurora Enterprises would be working for Lu Yin. Instead, Director Zhi was hoping that it would be possible to directly purchase all of the technology and materials outright from Lu Yin.
"Still unwilling?" Lu Yin arched a brow. "If I remember correctly, Director Zhi, your son doesn't really like to spend any effort on cultivating."
These words triggered an instant and drastic reaction from Director Zhi, and he glared at Lu Yin in a fury. "What are you going to do? Threaten me with my son?"
Lu Yin laughed. "Relax! That’s not at all what I meant. I actually just wanted to give you something to give your son to keep him alive."
As he spoke, Lu Yin pulled out the life-extending butterfly and tossed it over to Director Zhi.
The man took it, but his anger had not quite fully dissipated. He frowned as he stared at the life-extending butterfly, and after a moment, his eyes grew wide. "Is this a jincan?"
"Have you heard of life-extending butterflies?" Lu Yin smiled at Director Zhi.
Director Zhi wracked his brain for a moment, and then he hesitantly took a guess. "Is this the Divine Venom Dynasty’s jincan that can save a person’s life a single time? Is this the life-extending butterfly?"
"Since you already know what it is, I don’t need to say anything more. This is a personal reward for you. This will keep your son alive as long as he isn’t instantly killed twice in a row. This is a demonstration of my sincerity," Lu Yin said.
The man considered the gift for a moment, but he soon accepted the jincan. "This life-extending butterfly, the bark, and the white paper are suitable compensation for producing the microarrays. However, the cost of research and development of the new universal armor, as well as the incorporation of the smoke and microarrays into the new armors, will still need to be calculated separately."
"Of course," Lu Yin answered with a smile. Since he currently had money, he wanted to use it to purchase as many of the new universal armors as possible.